#14 Bentley Edges Women's Basketball, 56-49

Hyslip led the Skyhawks with 20 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Gemma leads Falcons with game-high 25 points, including seven in final 3:31 to seal victory

EASTON, Mass. (December 10, 2016) – Bentley University, ranked 14th in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, held off Stonehill College, receiving voted in the D2SIDA East Regional poll, down the stretch to collect a 56-49 decision in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.

Senior Jen Gemma (Milton, Massachusetts/Fontbonne Academy) scored seven of her game-high 25 points over the closing 3:31 to seal the win for Bentley. She finished shooting 11-of-19 from the field and converted 3-of-4 free-throws to go with eight rebounds, netting 17 of her 25 points in the second half. Junior Lauren Green (Damascus, Maryland/Damascus) joined Gemma in double-figures with ten points and five rebounds, while senior Parker Gregory (Fishkill, New York/John Jay) hauled in eight rebounds for the Falcons.

Junior Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) was the lone Stonehill player in double-figures with 15 of her 20 points in the second half as she finished shooting 8-for-14 from the field and drained 4-of-5 free-throws to go with six rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Junior Elizabeth Grip (Shrewsbury, Massachusetts/Shrewsbury) contributed nine points, five rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals in 25 minutes off the bench, while classmate Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) added eight points. Junior Kate Ross (Fall River, Massachusetts/The Lincoln School) chipped in a team-high eight boards.

Bentley finished shooting 40.4-percent from the field (21-for-52), improving its percentage every quarter from 28.6% (4-14) in the first, to 53.8% (7-13) in the fourth to close the game out. The Falcons held a 40-31 rebounding advantage and also outscored Stonehill 18-7 in points off turnovers despite giving the ball away more, with 11 of their 17 giveaways in the first half. Stonehill shot 34.5% (19-for-55) from the floor, including 4-for-14 (28.6%) from three-point distance, connecting at 60% (6-10) in the third quarter after shooting just 24.1% (7-29) in the first half.

Grip contributed nine points, five boards and three blocks off the bench. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Bentley's largest lead was ten (19-9) after a Gemma layup with three minutes to play in the first half. Stonehill reeled off an 11-2 run over the next two and a half minutes to close within a point (21-20), capped by a Grip layup with 25-seconds remaining after a pair of three-pointers from freshman Kelsey Shaw (Bar Harbor, Maine/Mount Desert Island) and a triple from Walsh to key the rally. Hyslip gave Stonehill its first lead of the contest (23-22) with the opening basket of the second half, but Bentley used a 14-6 stretch to restore a seven point cushion (36-29) following a three-pointer from sophomore Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Connecticut/South Windsor) midway through the third quarter.

Hyslip pulled Stonehill back within four at the break (39-35), and then opened the fourth with a basket to get the Skyhawks back within a possession (39-37). She contributed a three-point play to trim the Bentley lead to a point (41-40) with 8:06 to play, but layups from Gemma and junior Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, California/Windward School) pushed the Falcons lead back to five (45-40) with 5:55 remaining.

Walsh drained a three-pointer and sophomore Nicole Rojas (Cromwell, Connecticut/Cromwell) scored a layup off a Bentley turnover to knot the score (45-45) with 3:53 to play. Green and Gemma followed a timeout with back to back baskets to restore Bentley's four point lead (49-45) with 2:43 left. Stonehill was back within a possession (51-49) after a Grip layup with 1:42 to play and then after a Falcons miss, Gemma got a piece of a potential go-ahead three by Shaw and Gregory scored a layup on a third chance at the other end to put the Falcons back up two possessions (53-49) with 28-seconds left. Stonehill turned the ball over after a time out and the Falcons sealed the win from there at the free-throw line.

Stonehill (5-5, 4-3 NE10) is off until New Year's Eve when it visits LIU Post for a non-conference matchup after the finals and holiday break at 1:30 p.m. The Skyhawks don't return home until Saturday, January 7, when it hosts Southern Connecticut State University at 1:30 p.m. Bentley (9-2, 7-0 NE10) hosts LIU Post next Sunday, December 18, at 1:30 p.m.

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